The Traverse City Wine & Art Festival celebrated its fifth successful year this past weekend, expanding the event’s reach in more ways than one. With increased participation and the Festival’s relaxed, expansive layout to the addition of an exclusive Friday night “Winemakers Party”; the Festival grew immensely this year and that growth was very well-received.
The musical lineup for Saturday’s main event included Blake Elliot & The Robinson Affair, The Ben Daniels Band, The Crane Wives and Sixto Rodriguez, the Detroit singer/songwriter whose story is told in the Academy Award winning Best Documentary Film of 2013: “Searching for Sugarman.”
Pairing the festival’s musical lineup with our area’s incredible selection of local wines and talented artisans destined the event for success. Attracting locals and visitors alike, the 5,000+ tickets were sold out before the weekend even arrived.
The Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, hosted by the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association, has typically been a one-day only event, but this year marked the inclusion of the first annual Friday night Winemaker’s Party. This exclusive event allowed attendees to mingle with our local area winemakers while enjoying wine paired with stories of the flavors, vineyards and history. Not only this, but the Winemakers Party was also complete with small plate accompaniments by seven of the best restaurants in Leelanau, Old Mission & Traverse City.
Now I’m a big fan of our local wineries, and in an event like this when you pair incredibly delicious small plates with Northern Michigan wine… You’ve got me hooked.
The ‘Small Plates’ Menu:
Bistro Fou Fou / La Becasse – Escargot & ramp risotto
Hearth & Vine Cafe at Black Star Farms – Coffee & red wine braised beef short ribs with polenta, chevre, sage and pea shoots
The Cooks’ House – Northern Indian vegetarian curry with basmati rice
Epicure Catering – Wine poached Lake Michigan trout with asparagus and smoked butter pesto on herbed barley
Mission Table – House made grilled merguez sausage on baguette with rouille, Werp Farms rocket arugula, pickled onions and cucumber
The Riverside Inn – Braised Michigan veal breast on local brioche with house pickled ramps
Trattoria Stella – Grilled focaccia, melted stracchino cheese, heirloom tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt
The Festival is hosted at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, the former Traverse City State Hospital that is now one of the Largest Historic Preservation and Mixed-Use Redevelopment Projects in the Country. It is the perfect, comfortable and natural setting for the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival. The Village highlights a unique vibrancy that’s so much a part of this city; A community beaming with incredible wineries, artisans, musicians, restaurants, landscapes and more.
The setting was perfect and the evening was supremely enjoyable. Food & Wine go hand in hand so the addition of this Friday night event was seamlessly destined. Among many other opportunities, this community continues to thrive and inspire new budding restaurants & vineyards to bloom. The Friday night Winemaker’s Party is an event that will only continue to grow as its Saturday counterpart has done.
Congratulations and a BIG Thank you to all that made the festival such a success. I’m looking forward to attending the 2nd Annual Winemakers Party next year and devouring more of the incredible food & award-winning wines our area have to offer.
eat, drink & be merry.